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How Long Should Treatment Last?

If you are thinking about enrolling in addiction rehab, you are probably anxious to know details like how long treatment should last. First of all, it is important to remember that each person is unique, and therefore each person’s recovery will be different from the next. With that being said, there are some general guidelines that treatment centers and their clients can generally follow. This will give you an idea of what to expect during rehab, so you can plan for the time needed to recover and get back to life.

Detox: 4 to 14 days

The initial phase of treatment is detox. If you’ve been feeding toxic substances into your body, you need time to detoxify yourself before you can move on with your recovery. The length of time needed for detox depends on your substance use history. Long term substance abuse, abusing multiple substances, and addiction to certain drugs will take longer for detox. You can expect detox to last 3 to 5 days in general – shorter if you have only been using for a short time, and longer if you have a tougher addiction to kick.

During detox, your body will go through withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, shakes, insomnia, lethargy, and body aches, and some symptoms last for a week or longer. You will need to continue in detox until your symptoms have subsided or are manageable, so that you are stable and focused enough to proceed to the next stage of recovery.

Intensive Rehab and Therapy: 30-90 days

The second phase of treatment is really the heart of your recovery: the rehab and therapy phase. This can occur either as inpatient (residential) therapy or outpatient treatment. It is during this time that you will really begin to understand why addiction has taken control of your life and what you need to do to stop it. You will address underlying issues like dysfunction in your family, poor coping skills, and flawed thought processes. Through therapy, you will also develop the tools you need to live without your crutch of addiction, how you must deal with the stress and disappointments in life, and what to do when you face temptations and triggers to use.

All of this takes time, and you will find that the longer you remain in rehab, the more equipped you are to face the world as a sober individual. Staying substance free becomes easier the longer you go without drugs or alcohol, but you will still face tough days that make you want to use again. For this reason, a longer stay in rehab is much more effective than a shorter one.

Most facilities offer programs that are 30, 60, or 90 days in length. By working with clients, following therapists’ recommendations, and also taking into account insurance coverage, a treatment plan can be established. Treatment plans should be flexible, however, so that if someone is not as stable as they had hoped at the end of their initial plan, they can continue on with rehab and fine tune their skills and solidify their recovery.

After Care: 3 months to a year

The final phase of recovery is called after care, during which time you will transition back to your home and normal life. The length of this phase is the most variable of all the steps to recovery, because some people are ready to jump right back into life while others would quickly relapse if they returned home too soon.

After care programs usually consist of regular therapy sessions (weekly or bi-weekly), and support group meetings several times a week. During these sessions and meetings, you will continue to grow in your recovery and your ability to live substance free, and you will make connections with a support system that will be there to provide encouragement when you need it. Some people find that sober living apartments are a great addition to their after care plan, so that they can be surrounded by others who are also actively working at their recovery, and can be held accountable for their sobriety through mandatory drug tests.

Of course, recovery can take longer at times, and some people say their recovery never really ends as it takes effort and focus to remain sober every day. For these people, a regimen of abstinence, along with regular support group meetings, help remind them of their commitment to recovery, and enable them to live a happy, sober life.

Your recovery is what you make of it, and the length of time it takes depends largely on you. To learn more about recovery or to find a rehab that is right for you, contact Sober Helpline at (888) 907-8039 today.